For this week’s post, I’m pleased to introduce guest contributor Evan Parker, Managing Director of LawyerMetrix. In Post 074, Evan tackles the profoundly important topic of diversity in the legal profession. After presenting compelling evidence that (1) clients want more diversity, (2) diverse legal teams produce better results, and (3) diverse firms make higher profits — what’s not to like? — Evan argues that clients are hindered by a lack of clear, actionable data — a problem he is working to solve in conjunction with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).

I have a broad frame of reference to make the following statement: Evan Parker is the most experienced and sophisticated data scientist currently working in the legal industry. From 2013 to 2016, Evan and I worked together at Lawyer Metrics (now LawyerMetrix).  Before joining LawyerMetrix, Evan was on the faculty of Texas A&M and Stony Brook University, where he specialized in quantitative methods.

Perhaps the most important lesson that Evan and I and the rest of the LM team learned is that when it comes to lawyers and data, the challenging part isn’t the analysis; rather, it’s finding a results format that puts lawyers at ease and enables them to grasp and understand the key points in little more than an instant. Cf. Post 008 (innovations are much more likely to be adopted if they are simple and culturally compatible; high relative advantage is not enough).  Over the last couple of years, Evan has taken this skill to the next level.  Some of this is now on display in Post 074.  Enjoy.

What’s next?  See Missing in Action: Data-Driven Approaches to Improve Diversity (074)